Friday, May 06, 2005


A Roundtable Discussion on Hernando de Soto’s Model of Development and Its Impact on Philippine Economic Policies

13 May 2005
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
SEAMEO INNOTECH, Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City


Hernando de Soto, a Peruvian economist whose ideas made him a global celebrity, is now the subject of both praise and criticism, from the left and from the right. For the left, de Soto has formulated the most seemingly practical ideas for reducing global poverty. For the right, de Soto offers the most compelling way to market capitalism to the poor. At last year’s
annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, former United States President Bill Clinton publicly declared that de Soto is “probably the world’s most important living economist.” He also has the backing of international financial institutions, foremost of which is the World Bank.

Various governments have started to adopt his model of development. For instance, in Thailand, the current “assets capitalization program” is aimed at the transformation of all land assets into fully transferable units, through privatization of tenure or land titling. The very basis of this program is de Soto’s Mystery of Capital.

The Philippine government has also tapped de Soto as an economic adviser. Believed to be a man with a “bag of economic tricks,” more and more Filipinos, ordinary and technocrats alike, are putting their faith in his development model. However, many policy analysts, civil society organizations and even the basic sectors are posing challenges and questions to de Soto’s framework. Most of them are still grappling with the meaning of his development model, more so, how his economic proposals would be beneficial to the country.

This forum aims to understand the essence of de Soto’s model of development and how it will redound to the government’s policies and programs. Also, the forum intends to address the following questions:

- How did the government adopt the tenets of de Soto’s model of poverty reduction (if the government did adopt de Soto’s tenets)? How have these translated to policies and programs?
- What are the implications of this model to the on-going agrarian reform program of the government and to farmers’ struggle for genuine land reform, in general?
- What are the economic proposals of de Soto for the Philippines? Would this be beneficial to the country’s development?

Main Speakers:

Dr. Leonardo A. Lanzona, Jr.
Associate Professor of Economics, Ateneo de Manila University
“Overview of Hernando de Soto’s Development Model and Policy Implications”

Panel of Reactors:

Ms. Au Regalado, MODE
Ka Romy Rubion, Makabayan-Pilipinas (to be confirmed)
DAMPA (to be confirmed)
Task Force Lara (to be confirmed)

Moderator: Mr. Martin Tanchuling, PhilNet-RDI

* For inquiries and confirmation, please contact Mary Ann or RC at 433-0899, 433-3387 or email at

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